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Dive Review of Dive Center Thalassa/Hotel Santika in
Indonesia/Bunaken

Dive Center Thalassa/Hotel Santika, Oct, 2007,

by James T. McKnight, MA, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports). Report 3695.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Truk Lagoon, Bikini Atoll, Thailand, NC, Lake Ontario, Caymens, Florida
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Try to keep dives to about 1 hour & no gloves
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments There was no camera table and the boats were crowed, but no serious problems. An AC room is provided at the dive certer for photo equipment.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The hotel is a comfortable and clean facility with pool, spa etc.. The service and food were good, but english was very limited. The hotel accepts credit cards, but had some trouble with American Express. Make sure you arrange in advance if you want to use AmEx. The dive center is on the grounds of the hotel and is able to efficiently service a large number of divers. We made 8 dives in three days. Dive sites included Bunaken, Bangka Island (90 minutes north) and sites near Thalassa. The nearby dives had 8 divers on board while the northern trip ($20 extra) had 6 divers. There was one divemaster per 4 divers. All dives were drift dives with some strong currents and surges. Picture taking was dicey in the strong currents. The northern dives had wicked currents. The walls offered beautiful soft/hard corals plus tons of tropical fish, but nothing big.

My only negative comment concerns the boats. The first boat was a local hire and not from the dive center. It didn't have a head and was a bit crowded with 8 divers and camera gear. The second should have been comfortable, but had a fuel system problem which resulted in strong gasoline fumes. Even the divemasters complained. The third was the "speedboat" which had no head & was overcrowded, but the trip was short.

Overall Santika/Thalassa is a good value and offers a nice experience for non-divers. The more hard core UWPs will prefer Lambeth Strait.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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